Buccaneers make franchise look bad with terrible organizational mistake

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers have been off to a great start to their offseason. Their recent decision on season tickets is not one such win.

During an offseason where it seems like everything is going right for the Buccaneers, a rare loss has a way of standing out like a sore thumb.

Tampa has done everything right with their roster and on the field strategies, but the success on the field is not translating to the front office.

The Buccaneers announced yesterday that fans who want new season tickets for the 2022 season will also have to commit to being season ticket holders in 2023, and any bit of thought shows why this is a terrible decision.

From a money standpoint, this is probably a great move by the Bucs. However, it also paints the front office in a  negative light.

For starters, it likely indicates that the Buccaneers don’t believe Tom Brady will be back in 2023. The front office wouldn’t have to make this move if they were confident that they would have a quality starting quarterback under center that year. Everyone saw how little excitement there was around the prospect of watching Blaine Gabbert or Kyle Trask under center for 2022. That isn’t going to change after one more year of Brady.

The Buccaneers realized this inevitable falloff is still likely coming, and deciding to lock fans in for one more year of Brady at the cost of one year of subpar quarterback play should keep the season ticket rates higher for at least one more season.

Again, not a great look from the front office.

Everyone in Tampa knows what the recipe for galvanizing fan support in the stands; build a good team. It isn’t a difficult concept to understand, yet this decision looks like the team is unsure if they can do that without the greatest quarterback of all time as the face of the franchise.

There are two clear times in history where the Bucs had the stands filled with ravenous fans; it’s not just Tom Brady or the other big names on this roster right now. Still, the Buccaneers are making it look like they believe the bandwagon fans are going to dip out when Brady does.

Who cares?

Gatekeeping with a team like this that has been bad for the vast majority of its history is so dumb. Standing by the team through decades of mediocrity isn’t the badge of honor that most think it is. More than anything, this shows the organizational shortcomings of the team you are trying to talk up.

If Brady fans want to put on a Bucs jersey for a year and cheer him on, again, who cares? At least there are people in the stands for the first time in 20 years. If they want to go back to watching on TV after Brady leaves, that is their prerogative.

Telling people what good fandom looks like or how they should be a fan of their team is childish.

Bucs fans had years to decide that they wanted to buy season tickets in the tens of thousands. The franchise had nearly two years to build a franchise that season ticket holders wanted to come back to year after year. Signing Brady worked. Getting complacent after he left was not the way to fix the problem.

Artificially inflating season ticket sales in the one year after Brady won’t change the overall attitude towards the franchise one iota. In fact, even with the new rules on needing a Florida driver’s license to get new season tickets, this will only lead to more away fans in the stands in 2023 due to the resale market and people not wanting to watch Brady’s replacement as much as they wanted to see him.

The best case scenario in this situation is that fans who don’t want to go can’t find away fans to buy their tickets. They then see this as a sunk cost (great economic term to log away in the discussion of season tickets) that was paid to see Brady.

Are empty seats across Raymond James that much better?

The Buccaneers are going to be a very fun team to watch in 2022 and the future for this team can be very bright with the right decisions, but posturing like this from the front office right after the first adversity in two years is not a good look.

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